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Monday, May 19, 2014

Service Matter - NALCO - established two schools - Management was given to Saraswarti Vidaya Mandir - Two employees filed writ for declaration that they may be declared as employees of NALCO and entitled for pay scale as per it's employees - High court allowed the writ - Apex court held that Merely because the schools are set up by NALCO or they have agreed to take care of the financial deficits for the running of the schools, according to us, are not the conclusive factors as the SVS and it's committees are looking after the management of the school - as the employees are already getting good salary than the Govt. School employees , they are not entitled for equal pay along with Nalco workers as they are not workers of Nalco = National Aluminium Co. Ltd. & Ors. ….Appellant(s) Vs. Ananta Kishore Rout & Ors. ….Respondent(s) = 2014(May. Part) http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41518

     Service Matter - NALCO - established two schools - Management was given to Saraswarti Vidaya Mandir - Two employees filed writ for declaration that they may be declared as employees of NALCO and entitled for pay scale as per it's employees - High court allowed the writ - Apex court held that Merely because the schools are set up by  NALCO  or  they  have agreed to take care of the financial deficits for the running of the schools, according to us,  are  not  the  conclusive  factors as the SVS and it's committees are looking after the management of the school - as the employees are already getting good salary than the Govt. School employees , they are not entitled for equal pay along with Nalco workers as they are not workers of Nalco =

 The Appellant herein, National Aluminium Company  Limited  (NALCO)
          has established two schools for the benefit of the wards  of  its-
          employees.  These schools are known  as  Saraswati  Vidaya  Mandir
          (SVM) and  located  at  NALCO  Nagar  in  Angul  district  and  at
          Damandjodi in  Koraput  district,  Orissa.   Management  of  these
          schools is presently in the hand of Saraswati Vidya  Mandir  (SVS)
          which is affiliated  to  Vidya  Bharati  Akhila  Bharatiya  Sikhya
          Sansthan.

       2. Two Writ Petitions were filed by the employees of each  of  school
          in the Orissa High Court, Cuttack for a declaration that they  are
          the employees of NALCO and be treated as such, with  consequential
          prayer that these employees be also accorded suitable  pay  scales
          as admissible to the employees of NALCO. =
 The
          High Court has accepted the case of these employees of SVM holding
          them to be the employees of the NALCO.  As a sequittor,  direction
          is issued to the NALCO to make available the benefits,  which  are
          enjoyed by other employees of the NALCO.  Present  appeals,  filed
          by NALCO, question the validity of the aforesaid judgment  of  the
          High Court.=
In order to determine the  existence  of  employer  -  employee
       relationship, the correct  approach  would  be  to  consider  as  to
       whether there is complete control and supervision of the  NALCO.  It
       was so held by this Court in Chemical Works Limited (supra) way back
       in the year 1957. The court  emphasised  that  the  relationship  of
       master and servant is a question of fact and that depends  upon  the
       existence of power in the employer, not only to direct what work the
       servant is to do but also the manner in which  the  work  is  to  be
       done. This was so explained by formulating the following principle:-

              “The principle which emerges from these authorities  is  that
              the  prima  facie  test  for   the   determination   of   the
              relationship between master and servant is the  existence  of
              the right in the master to supervise  and  control  the  work
              done by the servant not only in the matter of directing  what
              work the servant is to do but also the  manner  in  which  he
              shall do his work, or to borrow the words of Lord Uthwatt  at
              Page 23 in Mersey  Docks  and  Harbour  Board  v.  Coggins  &
              Griffith (Liverpool) Ltd., and Another, “The proper  test  is
              whether or not the hirer had authority to control the  manner
              of execution of the act in question.”
23.  It has been established from the documents on record that  both
       the schools have their own independent  Managing  Committees.  These
       Managing Committees are registered under the Societies  Registration
       Act. It is these Managing Committees who not only  recruit  teaching
       and other staff and appoint them, but all other decisions in respect
       of  their  service  conditions  are  also  taken  by  the   Managing
       Committees. These range  from  pay  fixation,  seniority,  grant  of
       leave, promotion, disciplinary action, retirement, termination  etc.
       In fact, even Service Rules, 1995 have been framed which contain the
       provisions; delineating all necessary  service  conditions.  Various
       documents are produced to show that appointment letters  are  issued
       by the Managing Committees, disciplinary  action  is  taken  by  the
       Managing Committees, pay fixation and promotion orders are passed by
       the Managing  Committees  and  even  orders  of  superannuation  and
       termination of the staff are issued by the Managing Committees.  It,
       thus, becomes clear that day to day control over the staff  is  that
       of the Managing Committees. These  Managing  Committees  are  having
       statutory  status  as  they  are  registered  under  the   Societies
       Registration Act. Therefore, Mr.  Venugopal  is  not  right  in  his
       submission  that  Managing  Committees  do  not   have   their   own
       independent legal entities.

       24.  Merely because the schools are set up by  NALCO  or  they  have
       agreed to take care of the financial deficits for the running of the
       schools, according to us,  are  not  the  conclusive  factors.=

In State of Haryana v. Charanjit Singh discussing  a  large
                 number of earlier decisions it was held by  a  three  Judge
                 Bench of this Court that the principle  of  equal  pay  for
                 equal work  cannot  apply  unless  there  is  complete  and
                 wholesale identity between the two groups.  Moreover,  even
                 for finding out whether there  is  complete  and  wholesale
                 identity, the proper forum is an expert body  and  not  the
                 writ  court,  as  this  requires  extensive   evidence.   A
                 mechanical interpretation of the principle of equal pay for
                 equal work creates great practical difficulties.  Hence  in
                 recent decisions the Supreme Court has considerably watered
                 down the principle of equal pay for  equal  work  and  this
                 principle  has  hardly  been   ever   applied   in   recent
                 decisions.”



       34.  We say at the cost of repetition that there is no parity in the
       nature  of  work,  mode  of  appointment,  experience,   educational
       qualifications between the NALCO employees and the employees of  the
       two schools. In fact, such a  comparison  can  be  made  with  their
       counter parts in the Government  schools  and/or  aided  or  unaided
       schools. On that parameter, there cannot be  any  grievance  of  the
       staff which is getting better emoluments and enjoying  far  superior
       service conditions.

       35.  We thus, are of the opinion that the impugned judgment  of  the
       High Court is un-sustainable. Allowing these appeals,  the  judgment
       of the High Court is hereby set aside. There shall, however,  be  no
       order as to costs.

2014(May. Part) http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41518
SURINDER SINGH NIJJAR, A.K. SIKRI

                                                            REPORTABLE

                       IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                       CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
                       CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5989 of 2008




       National Aluminium Co. Ltd. & Ors.                ….Appellant(s)

                             Vs.



       Ananta Kishore Rout & Ors.                       ….Respondent(s)

       With

       Civil Appeal No.5992 of 2008
       Civil Appeal No.5993 of 2008



                               J U D G M E N T

       A.K. SIKRI, J.

       1. The Appellant herein, National Aluminium Company  Limited  (NALCO)
          has established two schools for the benefit of the wards  of  its-
          employees.  These schools are known  as  Saraswati  Vidaya  Mandir
          (SVM) and  located  at  NALCO  Nagar  in  Angul  district  and  at
          Damandjodi in  Koraput  district,  Orissa.   Management  of  these
          schools is presently in the hand of Saraswati Vidya  Mandir  (SVS)
          which is affiliated  to  Vidya  Bharati  Akhila  Bharatiya  Sikhya
          Sansthan.

       2. Two Writ Petitions were filed by the employees of each  of  school
          in the Orissa High Court, Cuttack for a declaration that they  are
          the employees of NALCO and be treated as such, with  consequential
          prayer that these employees be also accorded suitable  pay  scales
          as admissible to the employees of NALCO.   Having  regard  to  the
          commonality of fact, situation under which  these  writ  petitions
          were filed, as well as singularity of  the  issue  involved,  both
          these writ petitions were heard together by the  High  Court,  the
          outcome of which is the judgment dated 21st December,  2006.   The
          High Court has accepted the case of these employees of SVM holding
          them to be the employees of the NALCO.  As a sequittor,  direction
          is issued to the NALCO to make available the benefits,  which  are
          enjoyed by other employees of the NALCO.  Present  appeals,  filed
          by NALCO, question the validity of the aforesaid judgment  of  the
          High Court.

       3. We may first take note of those facts which are  not  in  dispute.
          These are as follows:

            NALCO is a Public Sector Enterprise  under  the  Government  of
       India.  It is Company incorporated under the Indian  Companies  Act,
       1956 with its registered office at Bhubaneswar,  Orissa.   NALCO  is
       engaged in manufacture and production of Alumina and Aluminium.   It
       has its manufacturing units:  one  at  NALCO  Nagar,  Angul  and  at
       Damanjodi in Koraput district.

       4.   In  the  year  1984,  NALCO  established  two  schools  in  the
       townships  set  up  by  it  for  its  employees   working   in   its
       manufacturing units at NALCO Nagar, Angul and at Damanjodi,  with  a
       view to provide educational facility mainly to the children  of  its
       employees  from  primary  to  +2  level  though  the  children  from
       neighbouring area are  also  given  admissions.   It  also  provided
       necessary  infrastructure,  such  as  land,   building,   furniture,
       library, laboratory equipments and other assets.  The  said  schools
       admittedly are unaided private schools.  On 15th  May,  1985,  NALCO
       entered into two separate but identical agreements for the aforesaid
       schools with the Central Chinmoy Mission Trust,  Bombay  (in  short,
       CCMT) whereunder the NALCO entrusted the management of  the  schools
       on contract basis to  CCMT  and  the  schools  were  called  Chinmay
       Vidyalayas.  According to the these agreements, NALCO agreed to  pay
       an amount of Rs.10,000/- per annum to CCMT as donation  towards  the
       supervision charges for each school.

       5.   These Agreements acknowledged the fact  that  the  two  schools
       have been established by the  NALCO  and  to  start  and  run  those
       schools, it had approached CCMT.  The Agreements further  stipulated
       terms and conditions on which CCMT  was  to  run  and  manage  these
       schools.  It is a common case of the parties that the  schools  have
       been recognized by the State Government (Education  Department)  and
       also affiliated to the Orissa Board of Secondary Education.  As  per
       the requirements of the Statute governing  school  education,  every
       school is required to constitute a Managing Committee.  Accordingly,
       these  Agreements  also  provided  that  the  powers  to  establish,
       maintain and manage the schools shall vest in the Managing Committee
       consisting of seven members.  Out of these seven members, four  were
       the nominees of CCMT and three persons were nominated by the  NALCO.
       Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Secretary-cum-correspondent were  to  be
       the nominees of CCMT.  Though the admission in the schools  is  open
       to  all  children  irrespective  of  caste,  creed  and   community,
       preference is to be given to the children of the  employees  of  the
       NALCO.  Apart from constructing the building and providing requisite
       furniture and fittings, NALCO was also to provide  quarters  at  its
       own cost for teachers and staff members of the schools.  NALCO  also
       agreed to provide residential accommodation to every employee in due
       course.  Significantly, the employees of  the  schools  were  to  be
       treated at par with NALCO employees so far as the medical,  consumer
       co-operative, club and similar facilities are concerned.  NALCO also
       agreed to meet the revenue deficit as per  Clause  15  of  the  said
       Agreement which reads as under:

              “15. That NALCO shall meet  the  revenue  defit  of  Chinmaya
              Vidyalaya, Damanjodi on the actual basis.  Since NALCO  shall
              be meeting the capital expenditure and the  revenue  deficit,
              NALCO shall have the right to fix the tuition fees and  other
              charges from time to time for children of NALCO employees and
              others.”




       6.   These agreements were terminable at the instance of the parties
       by giving six months prior notice in writing to the other party.  In
       the event of termination the agreements, the services of  the  staff
       employed by the school were liable to be  terminated  in  accordance
       with the terms of their appointment in these schools.

       7.   These agreements came to an end by efflux of time in  the  year
       1990.  It appears that CCMT was not interested  in  continuing  with
       the  aforesaid  arrangement.   This  led  NALCO  to   find   another
       organization for running and managing the schools.  It  is  how  SVS
       came into the picture which  agreed  to  manage  both  the  schools.
       Accordingly Agreement dated 18th May, 1990 was entered into by NALCO
       with SVS.  As per the Agreement, name of the school was changed from
       Chinmaya Vidyalaya Damanjodi to Saraswati Vidya Mandiar  (SVM).   As
       per this agreement NALCO agreed to pay Rs.2,000/- per month  to  the
       SVS towards its supervision charges which was enhanced from time  to
       time and this figure was Rs.50,000/- per annum at the  time  of  the
       filing of the writ petitions in the High Court.  Even  as  per  this
       Agreement, the Executive Authority of these two schools vests in the
       Managing Committee to be constituted  separately  for  each  of  the
       schools.  This Managing Committee is constituted with the  following
       members:

              “a)      The respective unit heads of Damanjodi/Angul or  its
              nominee shall be the ex-officio president;

              b)        A  nominee  of  the  Finance  department   of   the
              respective units of NALCO;

              c)       A nominee of the Personnel Admn. Department  of  the
              respective units of NALCO;

              d) A representative of the parents/guardians who hsall be  an
              employee of NALCO to be co-opted by  the  Managing  Committee
              respectively for each school at the units;

              e) 4 members to be nominated by the Samiti;

              f) The headmaster of the school;

              g) A representative of the teachers;

              h) A part-time representative of the Samiti who shall act  as
              the ex-officio member-secretary of the Managing Committees.”




                 The aforesaid clause in the Agreement  is  with  a  proviso
       that the relevant provisions of the Orissa Education Act  and  Rules
       shall be kept in view while making aforesaid nominations.

       8.   Accordingly, two Managing Committees were constituted; one  for
       each school and  both  have  been  registered  under  the  Societies
       Registration Act, 1860.  As per the provision contained in clause  4
       of the aforesaid Agreement, other clauses relating to placing at the
       exclusive disposal of the SVS, the two school  premises  along  with
       requisite furniture/fittings, library, laboratory games  equipments,
       audio-visual,  etc.  remain  as  it  is.   Likewise  provision   for
       providing deficit funds, after accounting  for  the  fee  and  other
       amounts received from the students, by  NALCO  is  also  maintained.
       Other functions which are  specifically  assigned  to  the  Managing
       Committee, as per this Agreement, are as follow:

              “(a)  Audit of the schools accounts by the Auditors appointed
              by the Managing Committee.

              (b)  Managing Committee to raise funds by way of donation and
              voluntary contribution including power  to  borrow  funds  or
              raise loans for the purpose  of  the  schools  after  getting
              prior approval  of  the  Samiti,  without  any  liability  to
              NALCO.”




       9.   It is also significant to note that apart from providing  usual
       termination clause, as per this  Agreement,  the  Samiti  agreed  to
       retain the services of the existing teachers and staff in  both  the
       schools as provided in clause 25 thereof, which is to the  following
       effect:

              “25.  It has been agreed by the Samiti to retain the services
              of the existing teachers and staffs in both  the  schools  on
              their existing  terms  and  conditions  of  service  and  the
              Managing Committee in due course may review the position.”




       10.       Since the teaching and non-teaching staff working  in  the
       aforesaid   schools   had   no   service   conditions,   there   was
       discontentment among  the  employees.   Therefore,  it  was  thought
       proper to frame rules regulating  conditions  of  service  for  such
       employees.  A joint meeting was convened for  this  purpose  wherein
       certain  modalities  were  worked  out  to  frame  rules   regarding
       recruitment and conditions of  services  of  the  employees  of  the
       schools and a committee for this purpose was constituted  comprising
       of the authorities of both the schools at Angul and  Damanjodi,  the
       Manager (Personnel) of NALCO and the Secretary of  SVS.   A  set  of
       draft  rules  was  framed  under  the  name  and  style   ‘Saraswati
       Vidyamandir Employees’ Recruitment and Conditions of Service  Rules,
       1995’ (Rules’ hereinafter).  The Rules so framed  were  approved  by
       the Corporate office of NALCO.

       11.  These  Rules  provide  for  the  scales  of  pay  of  different
       categories  of  employees,  the  modalities   for   recruitment   of
       Principal, teachers and other non-teaching staff  and  determination
       of  seniority  of  the  employees  besides   fixing   the   age   of
       superannuation etc.

       12.       It cannot be disputed that as per these Rules, it  is  the
       Managing  Committee’s  of  the  schools,  which  are  registered  as
       societies  under  the  Societies  Registration  Act,  undertake  the
       recruitment of the  teaching  and  other  staff,  issue  appointment
       letters and take all other decisions in respect of the  services  of
       teaching  and  other  staff  including  promotion,   pay   fixation,
       seniority,  grant  of  leave,   disciplinary   action,   retirement,
       termination  etc.   This  has  been  so  demonstrated  by  NALCO  by
       producing copies of the orders issued by the MCs relating to each of
       the aforesaid aspects.  Not only this, it has been so provided under
       the Rules as well.  Rule 4 prescribes  the  method  of  recruitment;
       Rule 2(a) defines the appointing as MC; Rule 4(11)  deals  with  the
       cadre of posts;  Rule  20  touches  the  aspect  of  termination  of
       service; and Rule 24 deals  with  the  discipline  and  disciplinary
       action.

       13.  From these facts, narrated above, one can easily find out as to
       what are the respective cases of both the parties.  The employees of
       both schools filed the writ petitions to lay the claim that they are
       the employees of the NALCO on  the  ground  that  real  control  and
       supervision of the schools, including the staff  is  that  of  NALCO
       which has the final say in all vital matters.  It was their argument
       that though the appointments are made by the Managing Committees  of
       the schools, it is on the recommendation of the Selection  Committee
       of which the authorities of NALCO are the members.   Further,  since
       inception of the school, an officer in the rank of  General  Manager
       of NALCO has been functioning  as  the  President  of  the  Managing
       Committee, and an officer in the rank of Chief Manager/DGM (Personal
       Admn.), and the DGM (Finance) are the other two members. That apart,
       the building furniture/fittings and all necessary paraphernalia  for
       running of the schools is provided by and is the  responsibility  of
       NALCO.  Even the finances are provided by NALCO the financial budget
       is approved by the Board of Director of the NALCO. NALCO even  fixes
       the tuition fee.  No transaction of the schools can be made  without
       the approval of DGM (Finance), NALCO which includes the  expenditure
       with  regard  to  the  salary  component,  provident  fund,  medical
       reimbursement,   leave   travel   concession,   festival    advance,
       increments, etc.  Teaching and non-teaching staff of the schools are
       allotted with residential quarters by the NALCO.  It was thus argued
       that NALCO plays a decisive role in the matter of appointment of the
       employees as well as in the management of the schools.

       14.       On the other hand, the case of the NALCO was that Managing
       Committees are the societies registered under Societies Registration
       Act having independent legal status; it is these MCs which  are  not
       only the appointing authorities but  disciplinary  authorities  with
       all controlling power  over  these  employees  and  therefore  NALCO
       cannot be treated as the employer of the staff of the schools.

       15.  The High Court after considering the respective submissions and
       perusing the material on record came to  the  conclusion  that  real
       control and supervision over  these  employees  and  even  over  the
       schools, was that of NALCO.  Some of the relevant discussion in  the
       impugned judgment is extracted below:

           “A bare look at the basic document, i.e.  agreement  dated  15th
           May, 1985 entered into between the NALCO and CCMT, Clause 20  of
           it, as indicated above, would show that on  termination  of  the
           agreement, only the name of the  Chinmaya  Vidyalaya  cannot  be
           used by NALCO and subsequently, the place of CCMT has been taken
           over by SVS.  From  the  voluminous  documents  as  referred  to
           above, there can be no second opinion in regard to the fact that
           the schools were established  by  the  NALCO,  funded  by  NALCO
           authorities and it has  deep  and  pervasive  control  over  the
           schools.  It is the NALCO,  which  pays  the  salary,  Provident
           fund, and makes the medical reimbursement, the SVS as stated  in
           its affidavit, only looked to  the  discipline,  curriculum  and
           management of the schools.  In this regard, we may  refer  to  a
           decision rendered by this Court  in  OJC  No.4581985  (Duryodhan
           Swain & Ors. vs. Fertiliser Corporation of India and others)  on
           22.11.1990,  wherein  a  similar  question  arose.    Twenty-one
           petitioners serving in the Fertilizer Higher Secondary school in
           different capacities had filed the said writ petition.  The said
           school was imparting teaching in + 2 course and  on  account  of
           the welfare need of its employees, the school  was  given  grant
           and was converted into a Higher Secondary School.  Even though a
           managing  committee  was  constituted  for  the   said   school,
           representatives of trade unions and of guardians and parents  as
           well as the officials of the  corporation  were  also  included.
           The financial control of the school rested in a  larger  measure
           with  the  corporation  and  it  was  fully  financed   by   the
           corporation.  In those prevailing facts and circumstances,  this
           court held that the corporation had deep and  pervasive  control
           over the working of the  school  and  ultimately,  directed  the
           corporation to accept the petitioners to be its employees.

             Now in the instant case, at the cost of repetition, we may say
           that the agreement dated 18.05.1990  entered  into  between  the
           NALCO  and  the  SVS  (Annexure  1)  and  the  agreement   dated
           15.05.1985 entered into between the NALCO and CCMT (Annexure 19)
           as indicated above, would amply prove the control of NALCO  over
           the schools in finance, payment, discipline and  administration.
           This fact  is  further  corroborated  and  strengthened  by  the
           submission of the learned counsel  for  the  SVS  that  it  only
           carries on the activities of providing  better  educational  aid
           and that it is not an educational agency.

           It is a peculiar case, where there is no  denial  that  all  the
           employees are getting much higher scale of pay than that of  the
           employees of the aided and unaided schools under the  state  and
           their pay structure is totally different and  even  much  better
           than  the  employees   of   all   the   Government   educational
           institutions functioning of the state.  It has  become  possible
           only due to the reason that the entire finance is being paid  by
           NALCO and if NALCO withdraws itself from  the  schools,  neither
           SVS and SVM would be able to meet the expenses of the schools.

           The agreement dated 15.05.1985 as well as  the  conduct  of  the
           parties and the transactions that are carried on from 1985  till
           today, would indicate that NALCO has deep and pervasive  control
           over the management of the schools and it is NALCO, which is the
           educational agency in establishing the  schools.   The  argument
           advanced by Mr. R.K. Rath, learned counsel for  NALCO,  and  Mr.
           B.N. Rath, learned counsel appearing for SVS in  both  the  Writ
           Petitions do not detract from the position that the schools  are
           being managed and financed by the NALCO and from the  documents.
           It is crystal clear that the ownership and overall management of
           the schools are retained by the NALCO while CCMT and SVM or  SVS
           as the case may be, have taken up the responsibility of  running
           the schools  at  different  point  of  time  because  they  have
           expertise and experience in the field of teaching.”




       16.  Before us arguments of both the parties remain the  same.   Mr.
       P.P. Rao, learned Senior Counsel appearing for the Appellant in  one
       appeal and Mr. Ashok Gupta, Senior Advocate appearing in  the  other
       appeal of NALCO challenged the aforesaid line  of  thinking  of  the
       High Court.  It was argued by Mr. Rao that the High Court took  into
       consideration those facts which were irrelevant and not  germane  to
       decide the controversy viz. over the whether NALCO had any deep  and
       comprehensive control and supervision over the  teaching  and  other
       staff of the school. His submission was that  establishment  of  the
       school with necessary infrastructure was not at all relevant factor.
        The schools were set up by NALCO acknowledging  its  responsibility
       as a model employer which can be termed as a step towards “Corporate
       Social Responsibility”.  As  a  welfare  measure,  NALCO  wanted  to
       provide this facility  in  the  two  NALCO  campuses.   However,  by
       providing land, building and infrastructure and setting  up  of  the
       school, all of it has been handed over to the outside agency to  run
       these schools.  For running these schools, it is that outside agency
       which had to employ the staff and settle their  service  conditions.
       In  so  far  as  provision  of  providing  financial  assistance  is
       concerned, it was only to the extent of  meeting  shortfall,  again,
       keeping in mind good corporate governance. He argued that  the  real
       test in such a case was to examine as to  which  authority  was  the
       appointing authority of the employees,  and  was  fixing  terms  and
       conditions  of  the  employment,  including  fixing  their   service
       conditions like pay fixation, seniority, grant of  leave,  promotion
       etc.  When all these powers were with the Managing Committee or  the
       SVS which was so specifically provided in the service rules as well,
       duly approved by  the  Director  of  Education,  by  no  stretch  of
       imagination these employees could be  called  as  the  employees  of
       NALCO.

       17.  Another submission of Mr. Rao was that even the High Court  has
       accepted, in the impugned judgment,  that  the  employees  of  these
       schools are enjoying much higher scales of  pay  than  that  of  the
       employees of aided and unaided schools under the State of Orissa and
       their pay structure is much better than the employees  of  even  the
       Government educational institutions functioning in the  State.   He,
       thus, argued that when it is established as an  admitted  fact  that
       the salaries and services  conditions  of  the  employees  of  these
       schools are far superior than their  counter  parts  in  working  in
       aided, unaided and government schools, there was no reason for these
       employees to file these petitions.   Elaborating  this  proposition,
       the submission of Mr. Rao was that even if it is assumed  that  they
       are the employees of NALCO, no direction could have  been  given  to
       give them the pay scales which  are  enjoyed  by  the  employees  of
       NALCO, in the absence of any parity inasmuch as principle  of  equal
       pay for equal work has no application in a case  like  this  as  the
       duties,  functions,  job  requirements  and  even  the   eligibility
       conditions for appointment of such staff were  materially  different
       from the employees of the NALCO.  Therefore, the  High  Court  could
       not give any direction to NALCO to make available the benefits which
       are being enjoyed by other employees of NALCO to  the  employees  of
       these schools.   To  buttress  this  argument  he  referred  to  the
       following judgments:

              (i)      A.K. Bindal & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors.;  (2003)
              5 SCC 163;  (ii)    State  of  West  Bengal  & Anr.  v.  West
              Bengal  Registration  Copywriters Association    and    Anr.;
              (2009) 14  SCC  132,
              (iii) Nihal Singh & Ors. v. State of Punjab & Ors; (2013)  10
              Scale 162


       18.   Mr.  Ashok  Gupta,  in  addition,  argued  that  the  impugned
       direction to treat the employees of the school  as  that  of  NALCO,
       amended to giving them the status of  public  employment  which  was
       impermissible inasmuch as the procedure for recruitment by NALCO for
       its  own  staff  was  entirely  different.   Further,  whether   the
       agreement entered into with SVS is  a  camouflage  an  aspect  which
       could not have been gone into in writ proceedings under Article  226
       of the Constitution.  He also argued that impugned direction of  the
       High Court would discourage the corporate sector, private or public,
       to take up welfare measures for its employees and would  be  counter
       productive to the principle of corporate good governance,  which  is
       now mandatorily provided under new Companies  Act,  enacted  by  the
       Parliament in the year 2013.

       19.  Mr. Venugopal, the learned Senior  Counsel  appearing  for  the
       employees of the schools defended the judgment of the High Court and
       the  directions  contained  therein.   He  referred  to  all   those
       documents and provisions as per  which  NALCO  had  been  exercising
       effective control in functioning of these schools.   These  features
       have already been mentioned above.  Thrust  of  his  submission  was
       that even when there was cloak  of  Managing  Committee,  apparently
       running the show, it was only a subterfuge,  when  examined  in  the
       light of the aforesaid documents reflecting that  the  real  control
       was that of  NALCO  which  was  pulling  the  strings.   Apart  from
       highlighting that the schools were established by NALCO which remain
       the property of NALCO, it is even providing entire infrastructure as
       well as full financial support on  continuous  basis.   Further  the
       schools were established for the benefit of the children of  NALCO’s
       employees. He also referred to various documents,  which  are  taken
       note of by the High Court as well, to buttress his  submission  that
       the actual decision making authority from the stage  of  recruitment
       process to that of termination of these employees,  is  NALCO.  From
       these documents, he drew the attention of the Court to the following
       aspects:

              “(i)  Though  the  appointments  are  made  by  the  Managing
              Committees of the School, selection process of appointment is
              controlled by NALCO which has financial say in the matter.
              (ii)  Appointments are made  on  the  recommendation  of  the
              Selection Committee of which authorities  of  NALCO  are  the
              members.
              (iii)    President of the Managing Committee is  the  General
              Manager of  NALCO.   Likewise  Chief  Manager/DGM  (Personnel
              Administration) is member of the Managing Committee who takes
              care  of  personnel  managing  of  the  Managing   Committee.
              Financial affairs  of  the  Schools  are  controlled  by  DGM
              (Finance) of NALCO as a member of  the  Managing  Committees.
              In this way administrative and financial control is exercised
              by NALCO.
              (iv)  Entire expenses incurred for running of the school  are
              borne by NALCO and no transaction can  be  made  without  the
              approval of DGM (Finance), NALCO including the expenses  with
              regard to the salary, Provident Fund, medical  reimbursement,
              Leave Travel Concession, festival advance, increments etc.
              (v)      Teaching and non-teaching staff of the schools  also
              enjoyed the facilities of  Consumer  Cooperative  Society  by
              NALCO as well as NALCO Hospital, like any other employees  of
              NALCO.
              (vi)     Budgetary provisions for the school are made by  the
              NALCO authorities every year.   NALCO  appoints  auditors  to
              audit the  accounts  of  the  schools.   NALCO  has  provided
              residential quarters to the teaching and  non-teaching  staff
              of the school in the NALCO Township at par of  the  employees
              of the NALCO.
              (vii)    Documents show that day to  day  grievances  of  the
              staff of different schools and other issues are addressed  by
              NALCO Authorities.”


       20.  Mr. Venugopal submitted that in a matter like this,  where  one
       has to examine as to who may be the employer of the employees of the
       school, there were three possibilities namely NALCO,  Siksha  Samiti
       or Managing Committee.  He  argued  that  so  far  as  the  Managing
       Committee is concerned, it is not having any  legal  entity  of  its
       own. Moreover as soon as the agreement between NALCO and  SVS  comes
       to an end, these Managing Committees  would  disappear.   Therefore,
       such a body cannot be the employer.  Likewise, in so far as the  SVS
       is concerned, it was only an agency for running the school and would
       go  away  after  the  expiry  or  termination  of   the   agreement.
       Therefore, it would follow that NALCO is  the  real  employer  which
       fact stands established from the manner in which NALCO is exercising
       deep and pervasive control.

       21.  We have considered the aforesaid submissions with reference  to
       the record of this case. No doubt,  the  school  is  established  by
       NALCO. NALCO is also providing necessary infrastructure. It has also
       given adequate financial support inasmuch as deficit, after  meeting
       the expenses from the tuition fee and other incomes received by  the
       schools, is met by NALCO. NALCO has also placed  staff  quarters  at
       the disposal of the schools which are allotted to the  employees  of
       the schools. Employees of the school are also  accorded  some  other
       benefits like recreation club facilities etc. However, the poser  is
       as to whether these features are sufficient to make the staff of the
       schools as employees of NALCO.

       22.  In order to determine the  existence  of  employer  -  employee
       relationship, the correct  approach  would  be  to  consider  as  to
       whether there is complete control and supervision of the  NALCO.  It
       was so held by this Court in Chemical Works Limited (supra) way back
       in the year 1957. The court  emphasised  that  the  relationship  of
       master and servant is a question of fact and that depends  upon  the
       existence of power in the employer, not only to direct what work the
       servant is to do but also the manner in which  the  work  is  to  be
       done. This was so explained by formulating the following principle:-

              “The principle which emerges from these authorities  is  that
              the  prima  facie  test  for   the   determination   of   the
              relationship between master and servant is the  existence  of
              the right in the master to supervise  and  control  the  work
              done by the servant not only in the matter of directing  what
              work the servant is to do but also the  manner  in  which  he
              shall do his work, or to borrow the words of Lord Uthwatt  at
              Page 23 in Mersey  Docks  and  Harbour  Board  v.  Coggins  &
              Griffith (Liverpool) Ltd., and Another, “The proper  test  is
              whether or not the hirer had authority to control the  manner
              of execution of the act in question.”




       23.  It has been established from the documents on record that  both
       the schools have their own independent  Managing  Committees.  These
       Managing Committees are registered under the Societies  Registration
       Act. It is these Managing Committees who not only  recruit  teaching
       and other staff and appoint them, but all other decisions in respect
       of  their  service  conditions  are  also  taken  by  the   Managing
       Committees. These range  from  pay  fixation,  seniority,  grant  of
       leave, promotion, disciplinary action, retirement, termination  etc.
       In fact, even Service Rules, 1995 have been framed which contain the
       provisions; delineating all necessary  service  conditions.  Various
       documents are produced to show that appointment letters  are  issued
       by the Managing Committees, disciplinary  action  is  taken  by  the
       Managing Committees, pay fixation and promotion orders are passed by
       the Managing  Committees  and  even  orders  of  superannuation  and
       termination of the staff are issued by the Managing Committees.  It,
       thus, becomes clear that day to day control over the staff  is  that
       of the Managing Committees. These  Managing  Committees  are  having
       statutory  status  as  they  are  registered  under  the   Societies
       Registration Act. Therefore, Mr.  Venugopal  is  not  right  in  his
       submission  that  Managing  Committees  do  not   have   their   own
       independent legal entities.

       24.  Merely because the schools are set up by  NALCO  or  they  have
       agreed to take care of the financial deficits for the running of the
       schools, according to us,  are  not  the  conclusive  factors.  Such
       aspects have been considered by this Court in various cases. In  the
       case of RBI (Supra), question was  as  to  whether  workers  of  the
       canteens which were established and even financed by the  RBI,  were
       the workers of RBI. Various canteens were set up by  the  RBI  which
       were being run through a Cooperative Society. They were  established
       in the Bank's premises for the benefit of its  employees.  The  Bank
       was reimbursing the charges incurred in  getting  various  statutory
       licenses. Even prior permission of the RBI was required to  increase
       the strength of the employees. Holding that  these  canteen  workers
       were not the employees of RBI, the court observed:

              “10. The Bank does not supervise or control  the  working  of
              the canteens or the supply  of  eatables  to  employees.  The
              employees are not under an obligation  to  purchase  eatables
              from the canteen. There is  no  relationship  of  master  and
              servant between the Bank and the various persons employed  in
              the canteens aforesaid. The Bank does not carry any trade  or
              business in the canteens. The staff canteens are  established
              only as a welfare measure. Similar demands made by the  staff
              canteen  employees  and  the  request  made  to  the  Central
              Government to refer the dispute for adjudication was rejected
              by the Central Government and the challenge against the  same
              before the Calcutta High Court was unsuccessful. According to
              the Bank, it has no statutory or other obligation to run  the
              canteens and it has no direct control or supervision over the
              employees engaged in the canteens. It has not right  to  take
              any disciplinary action or to direct any canteen employee  to
              do a particular  work.  The  disciplinary  control  over  the
              persons employed in the canteens does not vest  in  the  Bank
              nor has the Bank any say or control regarding the  allocation
              or work or the way in which the work is carried  out  by  the
              said employees. Sanctioning of leave, distribution  of  work,
              maintenance of the Attendance Register are all done either by
              the Implementation Committee (Canteen Committtee) or  by  the
              Cooperative Society or by the contractor.”

       25.  The court noticed that the  Implementation  Committee  (Canteen
       Committee) which  was  running  the  canteen  consisted  of  certain
       members, three out of which were nominated by  the  Bank.  This  was
       held to be a non-determinative factor. Following discussion on  this
       aspect  is  also  material  and,  therefore  we  extract  the   same
       hereunder:

              “Moreover, there is no right in the  Bank  to  supervise  and
              control  the  work  done  by  the  persons  employed  in  the
              Committee nor has the Bank any right to direct the manner  in
              which the work shall be done by various persons. The Bank has
              absolutely no right to take any  disciplinary  action  or  to
              direct any canteen employee to do  a  particular  work.  Even
              according to the Tribunal, the Bank exercises only a  'remote
              control'.”




       26.  In the present case, as pointed  out  above,  the  day  to  day
       supervision and control vests with the Managing Committee, from  the
       appointment  till  cessation/termination.  The  exercise  which   is
       undertaken by the High Court is in the nature of piercing  the  veil
       and commenting that real control vests with NALCO. Though  we  would
       come to this aspect a little later,  it is necessary to point out at
       this stage  that  whether  the  arrangement/  contract  is  sham  or
       camouflage is a disputed question of fact. In the present case  writ
       petitions were filed and it is not a case where industrial  disputes
       were raised by these employees.

       27.  In  the  case  of  Workmen  of  Nilgiri  Cooperative  Marketing
       Societies Ltd. (Supra) the entire  law  was  re-visited.  The  Court
       emphasised that no hard and fast rule can be laid  down  nor  it  is
       possible to do so. Likewise no single test – be it control test,  be
       it organisational or any other test  –  has  been  held  to  be  the
       determinative factor  for  determining  the  jural  relationship  of
       employer and employee. The Court enumerated  the  relevant  factors,
       which are to be examined in such cases, in Paras  37  and  38  which
       reads as under:-

              “37.      The  control  test  and  the   organisation   test,
              therefore, are not the only factors which can be said  to  be
              decisive. With a view to elicit  the  answer,  the  court  is
              required to consider  several  factors  which  would  have  a
              bearing on the result: (a) who is the  appointing  authority;
              (b) who is the paymaster; (c) who can dismiss  (d)  how  long
              alternative service lasts; (e)  the  extent  of  control  and
              supervision; (f) the nature of the job  e.g.  whether  it  is
              professional or skilled work; (g)  nature  of  establishment;
              (h) the right to reject.

             38.  With  a  view  to  find  out  reasonable  solution  in   a
                 problematic case of this  nature,  what  is  needed  is  an
                 integrated approach  meaning  thereby  integration  of  the
                 relevant tests wherefor it may be necessary to  examine  as
                 to whether the workman concerned was fully integrated  into
                 the employer's concern meaning thereby independent  of  the
                 concern although attached therewith to some extent.”


              In the facts of that case, where the  court  found  that  the
              portress and gridders who were claiming themselves to be  the
              employees of Nilgiri Cooperative Marketing Society, were  not
              its employees as the said society was neither maintaining any
              attendance register or wage register or fixing working  hours
              or had issued appointment letters to them.”




       28.  More significant case, having close proximity with the  present
       one is the judgment in SC Chandra & Ors. v. State of  Jharkhand  and
       Ors. 2007 (8) SCC 279. In that case Hindustan Copper Limited  (HCL),
       the Government  of  India  enterprise,  had  established  a  school.
       Employees of that school claimed that their real employer  was  HCL.
       Admitted facts were that school was established by the HCL with  the
       object of benefiting children of the workers of the  HCL.  Even  the
       financial assistance was provided to the schools. The Court however,
       came to the conclusion that only by giving financial assistance  the
       HCL did not become the employer of teachers and staff working in the
       school. They were held to be the employees of the Managing Committee
       of the school. That apart of the discussion which has direct bearing
       on the present case runs as follows:-

              “8.      We have heard learned counsel for  the  parties  and
              perused the records. The basic question before us is  whether
              a writ of mandamus could be issued against the management  of
              HCL. The learned Single Judge relying on the  Division  Bench
              in an identical matter  pertaining  to  Bharat  Cooking  Coal
              Limited dismissed the writ petition of the  appellants.  This
              issue was examined in an analogous writ petition and  in  the
              aforesaid case, this issue was extensively considered  as  to
              whether  the  management  of  the  school   is   the   direct
              responsibility of HCL or not. After considering the matter in
              detail, the learned Single Judge  relying  on  the  aforesaid
              judgment found that there is no relationship  of  master  and
              servant with that of the teachers  and  other  staff  of  the
              school with HCL as the management of the school was  done  by
              the Managing Committee though  liberal  financial  grant  was
              being made by the Corporation. By that there  was  no  direct
              connection  of  the  management  of  HCL  with  that  of  the
              management   of   the   school.   Though   through    various
              communication an impression was sought to be given  that  the
              school is being run by HCL but in substance HCL only used  to
              provide financial assistance to the school but the management
              of the school was entirely different than the  management  of
              HCL. Giving financial assistance does  not  necessarily  mean
              that all the teachers and staff who are working in the school
              have become the employees of HCL. Therefore, we  are  of  the
              view that the view taken by the learned Single Judge  appears
              to  be  correct  that  there  was  no  relationship  of   the
              management of HCL with that of the management of  the  school
              though most of the employees of  HCL  were  in  the  Managing
              Committee of the school. But by  that  no  inference  can  be
              drawn that the school had  bee  n  established  by  HCL.  The
              children of workers  of  HCL  were  being  benefited  by  the
              education imparted by this school. Therefore  the  management
              of HCL was giving financial aid but  by  that  it  cannot  be
              construed that the school was run by the management  of  HCL.
              Therefore, under these circumstances, we are of opinion  that
              the view taken by the learned  Single  Judge  appears  to  be
              correct.”




       29.  From the reading  of  Para  20  in  that  judgment  it  can  be
       discerned that the Managing Committee which was managing the  school
       was treated as an independent body. This case  is  relevant  on  the
       second aspect as well viz. the claim of school  employees  predicate
       upon the financial burden that is assured by NALCO. To  that  aspect
       we shall advert to little later in some detail.

       30.   No doubt, there may  be  some  element  of  control  of  NALCO
       because of the reason  that  its  officials  are  nominated  to  the
       Managing Committees of the schools.  Such  provisions  are  made  to
       ensure that schools runs smoothly and properly by the  society.   It
       also becomes necessary to ensure that  the  money  is  appropriately
       spent. However, this kind of 'remote control' would not  make  NALCO
       as the employer of these workers. This only shows that  since  NALCO
       is shouldering and meeting  the  financial  deficits,  it  wants  to
       ensure that money is spent for rightful purposes.

       31.  It was  argued  that  the  Managing  Committee  cannot  be  the
       employer as it  would  lose  its  identity  on  the  termination  of
       agreement between NALCO and SVS. However, even that by itself cannot
       be the determinative factor. When the agreement was earlier  entered
       into between NALCO and CCMT, and staff was appointed in  the  school
       by CCMT, NALCO ensured that such staff is taken  over  by  SVS.  For
       this purpose a specific clause  is  provided  in  agreement  between
       NALCO and SVS which reads as under:

              “That if any of the parties hereto  at  any  time  wishes  to
              terminate this arrangement, it may do so on giving  of  least
              six months prior notice in writing to  the  other  party,  of
              such an intention, provided that such  termination  shall  be
              effective only at the close of the academic session. Provided
              further that in the event of such termination,  the  services
              of the staff employed by the school  shall,  subject  to  any
              agreement to the contrary between the two parties hereto,  be
              terminated in accordance with the terms of their  appointment
              in the Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Damanjodi.”


       32.  Only because SVS agreed to take over the employees,  would  not
       mean that NALCO becomes the employer. On the contrary,  this  clause
       suggests that but for the intervention of NALCO,  the  school  staff
       that was engaged by CCMT would have been dealt with by CCMT. It is a
       matter of record that CCMT runs  other  schools  as  well.  In  that
       eventuality it would have taken these employees with  themselves  or
       retrench these  employees  in  accordance  with  law.  Same  is  the
       position of SVS who have other schools also. However, this  kind  of
       situation is not going to arise in the present  case.  We  place  on
       record the assurance given by the learned Senior Counsels  appearing
       for NALCO that the teaching and other staff of the two schools would
       not lose their jobs even if present  agreement  of  NALCO  with  SVS
       comes to an end and the management  is  taken  over  by  some  other
       agency for running the schools. We direct  that  NALCO  shall  stand
       committed by this assurance and would adhere to  the  same  for  all
       times to come. The position which emerges, in view of the  aforesaid
       assurance,  is  that  the  service  tenure  of  these  employees  is
       protected.

       33.   In so far  as  their  service  conditions  are  concerned,  as
       already conceded by even the respondents themselves, their  salaries
       and other perks which they are getting are better than their counter
       parts in Government schools or aided/ un-aided recognised schools in
       the State of Orissa. In a situation like this even if, for the  sake
       of argument, it is presumed that NALCO  is  the  employer  of  these
       employees, they would not be entitled to the pay  scales  which  are
       given to other employees of NALCO as there cannot be any  comparison
       between the two. The principle of ‘equal pay for equal work’ is  not
       attracted at all. Those employees directly  employed  by  NALCO  are
       discharging altogether different kinds of duties. Main  activity  of
       NALCO is the manufacture and production of alumina and aluminium for
       which it has its manufacturing units.  The  process  and  method  of
       recruitment of those employees,  their  eligibility  conditions  for
       appointment, nature of job done by those employees etc. is  entirely
       different from the  employees  of  these  schools.  This  aspect  is
       squarely dealt with in the case of SC Chandra & Ors.  (supra)  where
       the plea for parity in employment was rejected thereby  refusing  to
       give parity in salary claim by school teachers  with  class  working
       under Government of Jharkhand and BCCL. The discussion which ensued,
       while rejecting such a claim,  is  recapitulated  hereunder  in  the
       majority opinion authored by A.K. Mathur, J.:

              “20.     After going through the order of the Division  Bench
              we are of opinion that the view taken by the  Division  Bench
              of the High Court is correct.  Firstly,  the  school  is  not
              being managed by BCCL as from the facts it is more than clear
              that BCCL was only extending financial assistance  from  time
              to time. By that it cannot be saddled with the  liability  to
              pay these teachers of the school as being paid to the  clerks
              working with BCCL or in the Government of  Jharkhand.  It  is
              essentially a school managed by a  body  independent  of  the
              management of BCCL. Therefore, BCCL cannot  be  saddled  with
              the responsibilities of granting the  teachers  the  salaries
              equated to that of the clerks working in BCCL.

             21. Learned counsel for the appellants have relied  on  Article
                 39(d) of the Constitution. Article 39(d) does not mean that
                 all the teachers working in the school  should  be  equated
                 with the clerks in BCCL or the Government of Jharkhand  for
                 application of the principle of equal pay for  equal  work.
                 There should be total identity between both groups i.e. the
                 teachers of the school on the one hand and  the  clerks  in
                 BCCL, and as such the teachers cannot be educated with  the
                 clerks of the State Government or of BCCL. The question  of
                 application  of  Article  39(d)  of  the  Constitution  has
                 recently been interpreted by this Court in State of Haryana
                 v. Charanjit Singh wherein Their  Lordships  have  put  the
                 entire controversy to rest and  held  that  the  principle,
                 'equal pay for equal work' must satisfy the test  that  the
                 incumbents are  performing  equal  and  identical  work  as
                 discharged by employees  against  whom  the  equal  pay  is
                 claimed.  Their  Lordships  have  reviewed  all  the  cases
                 bearing on the subject and after a detailed discussion have
                 finally put the controversy to rest that  the  persons  who
                 claimed the  parity  should  satisfy  the  court  that  the
                 conditions are identical and  equal  and  same  duties  are
                 being discharged by them. Though a  number  of  cases  were
                 cited for our consideration but no useful purpose  will  be
                 served as in Charanjit Singh  all  these  cases  have  been
                 reviewed by this Court. More so, when we have already  held
                 that the appellants are not the employees of BCCL, there is
                 no question seeking any parity of the pay with that of  the
                 clerks of BCCL.”



       Markandey Katju, J in  his  concurring  and  supplementing  judgment
       dwelt on this very aspect in the following manner:-

              “24.     The principle  of  equal  pay  for  equal  work  was
              propounded by this Court in certain decisions  in  the  1980s
              e.g. Dhirendra Chamoli v. State of U.P.,  Surinder  Singh  v.
              Engineer-in-Chief, CPWD, Randhir Singh  v.  Union  of  India,
              etc. This was done by applying Articles 14 and 39(d)  of  the
              Constitution. Thus, in  Dhirendra  Chamoli  case  this  Court
              granted to the casual, daily rated  employees  the  same  pay
              scale as regular employees.

              25.      It appears that subsequently it  was  realised  that
              the application of the principle of equal pay for equal  work
              was creating havoc. All  over  India  different  groups  were
              claiming parity in pay  with  other  groups  e.g.  Government
              employees of one State were claiming parity  with  Government
              employees of another State.

             26. Fixation  of  pay  scale  is  a  delicate  mechanism  which
                 requires   various   considerations   including   financial
                 capacity, responsibility, educational  qualification,  mode
                 of appointment, etc. and it has a cascading effect.  Hence,
                 in subsequent decisions of  this  Court  the  principle  of
                 equal pay for equal  work  has  been  considerably  watered
                 down, and it has hardly ever been applied by this court  in
                 recent years.


             27. Thus, in State of Haryanan v. Tilak Raj it  was  held  that
                 the principle can only  apply  if  there  is  complete  and
                 wholesale identity between the  two  groups.  Even  if  the
                 employees in the two groups are doing identical  work  they
                 cannot be granted equal pay if there  is  no  complete  and
                 wholesale identity e.g. a daily rated employee may be doing
                 the same work as a  regular  employee,  yet  he  cannot  be
                 granted the  same  pay  scale.  Similarly,  two  groups  of
                 employees may be doing the same work, yet they may be given
                 different pay scales if the educational qualifications  are
                 different. Also, pay scale can be different if  the  nature
                 of   jobs,   responsibilities,   experience,   method    of
                 recruitment, etc. are different.


             28. In State of Haryana v. Charanjit Singh discussing  a  large
                 number of earlier decisions it was held by  a  three  Judge
                 Bench of this Court that the principle  of  equal  pay  for
                 equal work  cannot  apply  unless  there  is  complete  and
                 wholesale identity between the two groups.  Moreover,  even
                 for finding out whether there  is  complete  and  wholesale
                 identity, the proper forum is an expert body  and  not  the
                 writ  court,  as  this  requires  extensive   evidence.   A
                 mechanical interpretation of the principle of equal pay for
                 equal work creates great practical difficulties.  Hence  in
                 recent decisions the Supreme Court has considerably watered
                 down the principle of equal pay for  equal  work  and  this
                 principle  has  hardly  been   ever   applied   in   recent
                 decisions.”



       34.  We say at the cost of repetition that there is no parity in the
       nature  of  work,  mode  of  appointment,  experience,   educational
       qualifications between the NALCO employees and the employees of  the
       two schools. In fact, such a  comparison  can  be  made  with  their
       counter parts in the Government  schools  and/or  aided  or  unaided
       schools. On that parameter, there cannot be  any  grievance  of  the
       staff which is getting better emoluments and enjoying  far  superior
       service conditions.

       35.  We thus, are of the opinion that the impugned judgment  of  the
       High Court is un-sustainable. Allowing these appeals,  the  judgment
       of the High Court is hereby set aside. There shall, however,  be  no
       order as to costs.



                                       …..................................J.
                                                     [Surinder Singh Nijjar]






                                       …..................................J.
                                                                [A.K. Sikri]



     New Delhi

     May 8, 2014

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